It’s been a month since I attended the Reparenting the Child Within (RCW1) seminar. That two-and-half-day program has awakened me from the many years of living with anxiety, worry, and pessimism. Yes, I’ve lived with them and owned them as though they are an integral part of myself, that when you rip it off from me, I would no longer be me.
If some people live in the past, I on the other hand, live in the future.
Ever since I could remember, I have this constant urge to plan ahead, to anticipate glitches, and to mentally solve a problem that had not materialized yet.
I could hail a cab on the road worrying if the taxi driver has a change for my bill. I could sit on a fastfood store concerned about the weather wether it would rain. I could go to a store apprehensive if they have what I need. This list could go on and on and I don’t wish to bore you. But that was it. With all of these, I would plan what to do. And whether I walk, stand, or sit, my mind would never run out of something to think or worry about, mundane or life-changing. It’s taxing and tiring – to my body, mind, spirit.
I always think, think, think as if I live inside my head. All my life, I thought my inclinations are normal. All my life, I thought it was good to anticipate the future. Until I discovered that not all people are like this.
It was the 3rd week of February. Sitting with the other expecting co-journeyers, I anticipated the rolling of the seminar. Although I’ve heard recommendations about RCW1 from other acquaintances and even saw its effect on my husband who have attended 5 years ago, they were not enough to prepare me for what’s in store for me. I was in for a surprising revelation.
Surprising revelation. Yes, that’s the term.
Beginning with the WONDERFUL child description, I’ve discovered the lost of my sense of wonder and optimism. And there a gnawing question formed: What happened? When did I lost my natural sense of awe and optimism?
In the seminar we were allowed to work with our grief. It was like I entered a time-capsule and traveled to my past. And in my travel, I saw myself in a hospital, walking through the long hallway which led me to a nursery room. The room was silent and a bit cold. And there I saw, a tiny baby, temporarily left by her parents. That baby was me. Why oh why didn’t they immediately bring me home into the warm arms of my mother? How lonely and scary must it be for me as a newborn baby! Remembering what my father mentioned in passing, I had no complications and I was left in the hospital because he’s afraid that my mom couldn’t take care of me.
With this recollection came another truth from my family’s history. It has been repressed, forgotten, and ignored. But it resurfaced which made me uncomfortable.
My parents married not because of love, but because of my grandfather’s will. A few months after the wedding, I was conceived. I couldn’t escape the thought that I was not conceived out of love. I’m not even sure if my mother was joyful about the life growing inside her at the time. Was she happy? Was she resentful? I have no idea.
Allowing these thoughts occupy the forefront of my mind hurts and made tears stream down on my face. But at that time, I didnt know what to make of it.
They said: You cannot heal what you don’t feel. When we had our small group process, I told my facilitator what had struck me during the griefwork and she told me she noticed my reactions. So on the soft couch, she made me curl into a fetal position. And that’s all it took for me to break down and cry just like a child.
If you ask me, I really have no memory of what happened when I was an infant or even the time when I was inside my mother’s womb. But experts said that we have bodily memories. Our body stores our unaddressed emotions. It remembers what it feels like. And that’s what happened to me during the seminar.
The Journey to Healing
All the things we did – the discussions, the self-assessments, the griefwork, the small group process – have led me to the lost part of my self, my wounded infant self.
It was like I found a missing puzzle and that made me know myself better. Now I understand my pessimism and my anxiety. I have lived with these all my life and thought it’s okay. But now I know better.
It’s been a month since I attended the RCW1. Since then I started a new habit of mine that I know will immensely improve the way I enjoy life. A habit that cares for that inner infant of mine. So far so good. I know there will be times of backsliding, but there’s one thing I know is for sure: there will be no turning back. I’ll continue pressing forward.